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The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) was passed by both houses of the New York State legislature and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2019. It took effect on January 1, 2020. It requires total statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be 40% below 1990 levels in 2030 and 85% below 1990 levels in 2050, with an aspirational goal of a 100% reduction in 2050. It is one of the strongest climate change laws in the world, and people everywhere are watching its implementation for models of what can be done elsewhere.

The CLCPA establishes a Climate Action Council of 22 members (12 of whom are the heads of state agencies) to devise a “scoping plan” for how the law will be implemented. It will form several advisory committees, and will work with special advisory groups on environmental justice and on “just transition.” A draft plan is due in January 2022. After hearings and other public consultation, a final plan is due in January 2023. By January 2024, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is required to promulgate regulations “to ensure compliance with the statewide emission reduction limits.” This process of requiring an agency to devise a scoping plan for implementation is modeled after California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32.


Environmental Law | Law